The 10 Social News Apps You Need to Try

1/20/12Follow @wroush

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The Bottom Line

The way we gather and consume news content is evolving fast. The social news reader apps are a huge improvement over the old RSS readers—but some of them are still a little more gimmicky than useful.

At the end of the day, the reader apps are more alike than they are different. Most offer access to a mix of content from published sources and more personal sources such as stories shared by the people you follow on Twitter. With all of the apps, you can add or drop sources to fit your interests. You can also share articles via e-mail, Twitter, Facebook, or save articles to services like Instapaper, Read It Later, and Evernote. The real differences come down to presentation and design. Simply put, some of these apps are more refined and pleasant to use than others.

Which app you ultimately choose as your main news reader will depend on your personal taste. If you really enjoy sharing articles and seeing what your friends are reading, for example, you should try Flud. If you like seeing a lot of news stories in a single glance, try Pulse.

Some of the reader apps, like Trove and Livestand, need more work before they’ll be usable. Others, like AOL Editions and Google Currents, were surprisingly good right out of the gate.

I really like the design sensibility behind Flipboard, which also offers a pretty rich selection of content. So for my money, that’s the leading option right now. But Zite also makes a strong showing, and has more going on under the hood to find new content that you’ll like.

Luckily, all these apps are free, so you can try them all until you find one you like. Let us know about your favorites in the comment section.

Wade Roush is a contributing editor at Xconomy. Follow @wroush

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